by Martin L. Pall, Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences, Washington State University and Research Director, the Tenth Paradigm Research Group.
I will be giving 11 talks in five countries in Europe, starting on the tenth of April, all on the NO/ONOO cycle. Nine of these are being scheduled to correspond with my trip to Europe, including several entire meetings. The talks are as follows:
I will start with an all day workshop in Berlin, to be presented by me and also Dr. Peter Ohnsorge. My presentation will be simultaneously translated into German. I will speak on multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) and on therapy and may discuss other topics that will be covered in my talk in London which follows.
In London, I will be presenting three 90 minute talks, for a total of 4 1/2 hours, all at the Royal Society of Medicine, one of the most prestigious locations in the world. The first talk will focus on the NO/ONOO-cycle mechanism and how it plays out in the etiology of CFS/ME and also fibromyalgia. The second talk will focus on how that same mechanism explains MCS and also the three classic neurodegenerative diseases: Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and ALS. The three neurodegenerative diseases were also discussed as apparent NO/ONOO-cycle diseases in my book, Explaining Unexplained Illnesses, but there is substantial new evidence that further buttresses the case. Specifically, there is compelling evidence, that the four specific features, the formation of amyloid beta protein (A-beta) aggregates in Alzheimer's, the formation of hyperphosphorylated tau protein aggregates leading to neurofibrillary tangles (also Alzheimer's), the formation of Lewy bodies (Parkinson's) and the formation of neurofilament aggregates (ALS) are all formed under the influence of NO/ONOO-cycle elements of which peroxynitrite is the most important but several others have roles as well. What is interesting is that both A-beta aggregates and neurofilament aggregates act, in turn, to increased NO/ONOO-cycle elements, acting therefore as tissue-specific elements of the cycle. Recent studies of the A-beta aggregates have elucidated the mechanism by which this occurs.
The third talk at the Royal Society of Medicine will be entirely on therapy how we can be down-regulate the NO/ONOO cycle.
I then fly on to Rome for a presentation on the morning of April 17, flying later that day to Catania, Sicily for a meeting on MCS. That meeting is again being scheduled to correspond to my European trip and is the first meeting ever to be held in Italy on MCS. I then return to Rome for an informal meeting with people at the National Institute of Health to discuss the mechanism of MCS. The situation in Italy is an amazing turn around compared with the situation when I visited there in November 2008. At that time, and I gave talks at the medical school in Brescia in Northern Italy and also in Rome, I was told that the situation regarding MCS in Italy was positively barbaric, with physicians being prosecuted and thrown in jail for treating their patients for MCS. Maybe, just maybe, I will have turned the situation around in that country within 1 1/2 years? We can only hope.
From Rome, I fly to Paris to talk at a meeting on MCS. That meeting is the first meeting ever to be held on MCS in France and was again scheduled to correspond to my European trip. It follows a talk that I gave at the Environmental Medicine meeting in Aix-en-Provence last April. The latter talk was the first talk ever given on MCS at the French Environmental Medicine meeting, a meeting that in the past, was largely dominated by environmental carcinogenesis. The situation in France has changed dramatically in other ways. My web page paper on MCS has been translated into German and French and the response in both countries have been impressive. The French professional society of allergists has asked for and been given permission to post that French translation on their web site. Both French and German translations have been placed on several web sites.
After the Paris meeting, I go to Wurzburg for another meeting an already scheduled one. I have been asked explicitly to give two talks, one on Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and ALS as NO/ONOO-cycle diseases, this will follow much of the material I outlined above on this topic for the London meeting. I have also been asked to give a talk on therapy - how we can down-regulate the NO/ONOO cycle.
After the Wurzburg meeting, it's on to Madrid for the last meeting of the trip. I am not completely sure what I will be speaking on at that meeting, but am leaning towards talking about excessive NMDA activity as a common end point of large numbers of environmental toxicants. This is, in some ways, the most important new understanding that came out of my recently published big MCS review that large numbers of environmental toxicants all produce increases in NMDA activity and have been shown to have their toxic responses greatly lowered by NMDA antagonists. Previously, there have been two major toxicant end points what has been called genotoxicity for many carcinogens and a second, endocrine disruption. So this is a third, and it is almost certainly more important than endocrine disruption in terms of its implications for human health.
I had a wonderful trip to Europe in November 2008, ending up that six-country speaking tour as the only non-European invited to a special session of the Council of Nations (the EU Parliament) on environmental medicine, but this next one promises to be even better.
Martin L. (Marty) Pall
Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Science at Washington State University